Ben van Gelder • Alto Sax
Nelson Veras • Acoustic Guitar
Kit Downes • Piano
Félix Zurstrassen • Bass Guitar
Antoine Pierre • Drums
All compositions written by Félix Zurstrassen
Recorded by Vincent De Bast on 6-7-8 June 2023 at Jet Studio (Brussels, Belgium).
Mixed and mastered by Vincent De Bast at SonarStudios (Ere, Belgium)
Photo by NASA and STScI
Graphic design by Simon Defosse
Félix Zurstrassen, Point
& IGLOO Records
Published by IGLOO Music
Editions SOWAREX – boulevard Léopold II,
153 - 1080
P & C 2024 IGLOO Records
The Belgian bassist Félix Zurstrassen leads NOVA, a prestigious international quintet bringing together some of the finest European musicians of their generation to perform a carefully composed repertoire.. He is accompanied by the Franco-Brazilian guitarist Nelson Veras, the Dutch alto saxophonist Ben van Gelder, the English pianist/organist Kit Downes and the Belgian drummer Antoine Pierre. Each of them possesses a singular musical identity combined with exceptional instrumental mastery. Located at the crossroads of modern and contemporary jazz, this quintet works to create lyrical, innovative music anchored with nuance and emotion in the present moment.
For the past fifteen years, Zurstrassen (Sabam "Young Talent" Jazz Award) has established himself as a key figure on the Belgian jazz scene. A versatile musician at the crossroads of numerous projects that have left their mark (Antoine Pierre Urbex, Fabrizio Cassol Conference of the Birds, Typh Barrow, LG Jazz Collective...), he revealed himself for the first time as a leader in 2017 at the helm of a trio bringing together Nelson Veras, one of the most fascinating guitarists on the European scene, and Antoine Pierre, a prodigious drummer with whom he has formed a remarkable rhythmic tandem for several years now. In 2019, the trio was joined by the internationally renowned alto saxophonist, Ben van Gelder from the Netherlands. He had been playing successfully on the New York scene for almost ten years prior to that. In 2019, Zurstrassen recorded a debut album that subtly mixes the trio and quartet formulas. The album "Nova" was released on CD and vinyl on February 7, 2020 on the label Igloo Records. It was unanimously praised by the music critics of the Belgian and international press.
The meeting with the British pianist and organist Kit Downes, signed to the prestigious ECM label and winner of the BBC Jazz Award, was a turning point in the summer of 2021. It didn’t take much for Kit to blend in perfectly with the musical universe of Félix Zurstrassen. The musical symbiosis with this extraordinary musician who has a brilliant career on the international scene was immediate. Over the years, encounters and musical affinities have forged the colourful line-up of NOVA.
Since then, the quintet has completed several concert tours, released a digital live album "Nova - Live" in May 2023 and recorded a new studio album in June 2023. This album, entitled "Elusive", will be released on 09 February 2024 on Igloo Records and will be available on CD, vinyl and download.
Photo © Gaël Maleux